Jill Thayer Liliedahl knows the challenge of managing health and startup life is a matter of survival. Most startup founders know what it’s like to build and manage a business under pressure, but Jill has to manage her blood sugar as well. Jill is a type 1 diabetic, crazy dog lady and the CEO of SitStay.com, which started in 1995 as the pet industry’s first eCommerce retailer. Nearly twenty years, under Jill’s leadership, she helped manage a turnaround for SitStay.
Brent Comstock – Young Venture Capitalist Under Pressure
When Brent Comstock was 12 years old, he started fixing computers for neighborhood elderly ladies. He was 15 when he took his first website client. Seven years later, his one man show has transformed into BCom Solutions. Not only is Brent a recent college graduate and the founder of BCom Solutions, but he is also the COO for Change Ventures. Change Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital fund backing ambitious Baltic founders.
Lauren Rathman – Grad School Under Pressure.
Lauren Rathman might not be an entrepreneur, but she’s a busy person who knows what it’s like to live healthy under pressure. Not only is she a newlywed, but she’s also a personal trainer and a Dietetic Intern/grad student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I sat down with Lauren to chat about how she handles the stress of being a full time grad student and what her thoughts are on the ketogenic diet.
You can find Lauren on LinkedIn.
This episode also features an introduction to Ben Pankonin, startup founder and inspiration for this show.
Welcome to Healthy Under Pressure. This blog and podcast highlights the stories of entrepreneurs and busy people learning to live healthy under pressure. As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve coached hundreds of people at the scale. But talking to an entrepreneur about what they ate for lunch is like opening the floodgates.
When I reveal the fact that I’m a Dietitian, startup founders are the first to confess some sort of dietary sin. They are open and brutally honest about their health struggles. Ever since my husband launched his own startup, I’ve had a front row seat observing the rollercoaster of emotions, sleepless nights, and stress that go hand in hand with being a startup founder. I’ve seen how being focused on building a business often causes entrepreneurs to neglect other areas in their life, including their health. Throughout our startup journey we’ve learned that taking care of business starts by taking care of ourselves.
If Netflix is asking you if you’re still there, you might need to turn that off and get some rest. Entrepreneurs have binging habits. We binge when we work, we binge when we watch TV, and we binge when we party. It’s important to listen to your body, especially when it’s telling you to rest.
Sustainable burritos still have calories
Hey, that’s great if you care about where your food comes from. However, that “organic free-range lunch” is still loaded with calories and sodium. So, don’t forget to check the nutrition facts.
Science > Sensationalism
Tech entrepreneurs often pride themselves in sharing science, but it seems like science is ignored when it comes to good nutrition. I find that many listen to diet advice from influencers on Instagram instead of people with credentials. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And if any diet plan insists that you give up fruits and vegetables, that’s definitely a red flag.
Share your stats
Health tech makes it even easier for us to track data. Your startup believes you can’t improve what you can’t measure. Build on that competitive spirit by taking part in daily step challenges with friends. Tracking your weight, nutrition, and daily steps is a great place to start, but don’t forget about other important numbers including your blood pressure, waist circumference, and cholesterol.
Slow down on the alcohol
I don’t know how many times I’ve sat across from an entrepreneur and they’ve told me all about their super healthy diet while drinking a Red Bull and Vodka. At the end of the day, all calories count… even those from alcoholic beverages.
Support your team…this includes your significant other
If somebody in your company wants to make healthy changes in their life, support and celebrate that. Be mindful of snacks you bring into the office and schedule walking meetings when appropriate. The startup community here has been amazing at supporting one another. It’s time to also support healthy attitudes and behaviors when it comes to food, alcohol, sleep, and activity.
There’s no time like the present to take better care of yourself. If you feel like you’ve got the exercise and healthy eating plan under control, what about your mental or spiritual health? When’s the last time you visited the dentist or had a physical? It’s important to remember that health is more than a number on the scale or the number of times you post on instagram about going to the gym. It’s about little steps you can take in all areas of health that can lead to big changes over time.
Brooke Mullen- Building Beautiful Things Under Pressure
Moving to Thailand not only inspired Brook Mullen to start a business, but it also helped her gain a new perspective on what it means to be healthy under pressure. Brooke’s business, Sapahn, bridges the gap by connecting artisans’ high quality crafted collections with customers who want their beautiful things to do beautiful things.
Here’s how you can connect with Brooke:
Brooke’s business: Sapahn
Connect with Brooke on Instagram
Andrew Uden – Finding Contentment Under Pressure
Before Andrew Uden was the Chief Operating Officer of Quantified Ag, he was helping his father raise cattle on their ranch in western Nebraska. Transitioning from life on the farm to life in a startup has not been easy, but Andrew says finding contentment is what keeps him focused.
Here’s how you can connect with Andrew….
Tiffany Verzal – Finding Healthy Motivation Under Pressure
I am so thrilled that Tiffany was able to be my very first guest!!!
What motivates you to stay healthy? For Tiffany Verzal, it’s her family. Tiffany and her husband started their business from their daughter’s hospital room. If you’ve ever sat in a college stadium, you’ve probably seen examples of their work. Listen and learn how this couple stays healthy under pressure in order to take care of business at home. You will be in inspired by this mom, marathon runner and brain injury advocate.
Here’s where you can find her:
Tiffany’s business: V2 Content
LAUNCHING UNDER PRESSURE
If you know me personally, you know that I’ve been wanting to launch a podcast for a very long time. I’m talking YEARS, people. What held me back? I kept telling myself that I didn’t have enough time, the right equipment and that starting a podcast would probably be too distracting.
Well, a few months ago I was listening to a podcast about how to know when it’s time to change course with your blog or brand. As I was listening, one of the key questions the host posed to the audience was this:
“Are you writing about SOMETHING or to SOMEONE?”
That quested haunted me for weeks. If I’m really honest with myself, I think I was just going through the motions of writing blogs and developing recipes without a specific reader in mind. I’ve enjoyed the aspects of writing a food blog, but what I really love is TALKING about food and nutrition. In fact, my license plate actually says, “TACO LOT” because I talk. A LOT. (Seriously, just ask my students.)
This one’s for you.
I’ve also learned that the majority of people who read my blogs or engage with me online are typically entrepreneurs or very busy people who want to talk about health and nutrition. They typically do not have a lot of free time to read a blog or look up a recipe, but they are listening to podcasts on their daily commute. (These are also the same folks who message me in the middle of the night with a random question about nutrition because they know I’m a Registered Dietitian.)
I know who my people are and I know what they need to hear.
From the words of my favorite song from La La Land,
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make”